Thursday, 5 May 2016


The other day in the company of others I went to Elmley Nature Reserve bird watching. It was a nice sunny day with a light breeze that was warm when the sun was out of the clouds but with a distinctive chill otherwise, fortunately it was mainly warm.

I had not been for over a year and there had been some improvements, there was a larger car park containing an honesty box, a screen hide overlooking the estuary on the walk to the first hide and one of the friends of Elmley informed us that there were new scrapes. The other change I noticed was a reduction in the reeds leading to the first hide and I missed the usual serenade of Sedge and Reed Warblers though this could be a seasonal matter, proper management of the reed beds or a fault in my memory.

For the day we had 42 confirmed sightings of different bird species (the two bracketed were not seen by all of us), namely:-
Avocet, Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Coot, Cormorant, Carrion Crow, Tufted Duck, Dunlin, Little Egret, Gadwall, Black Tailed Godwit, Goldfinch, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Dabchick,
Black Headed Gull, Marsh Harrier, Heron, Kestrel, Lapwing, Sky Lark, (Linnet), Mallard, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Wood Pigeon, Pochard, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Shelduck, Shoveler, House Sparrow, Starling, Swallow, Mute Swan, Common Tern, Pied Wagtail, (Yellow Wagtail), Sedge Warbler, Wheatear, and Buzzard.

There was 1 species we saw that I had a horrible time identifying and is not in the list above and that is Curlew several of which we saw at a distance which could easily have been Whimbrel the distinguishing features changing on any one bird with the light and angle, sadly no vocalisation from any of them to help.
We heard but did not see a Robin and a Green Woodpecker, and I am sure one of the warblers was a Reed Warbler (very plain looking) but it was so quick I am only about 75% certain on identification, also not listed is a White Dove seen flying about.

Of other wildlife we were fortunate enough to see a Hare and although it was sunny only Peacock and Small White butterflies, the Marsh frogs were nowhere near as vocal as in the past with one short outburst from them, the warmer weather which is on its way may change that.

Pictures are :-
Common Tern, Common Tern
Lapwing, Lapwing Chick
Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler
Little Egret, Little Egret, Redshank, Avocet
Linnet, Sedge Warbler
Redshank, Hare